Trouble Finding Orders

Problem: We've received feedback from prescribers that it is difficult to find specific orders when entering common non-medication order names in both inpatient and outpatient order lookup tools.

The order catalogue that Connect Care uses is a first. A product of years of work, it is a provincial compendium of orderables that reflects a lot of effort to harmonize and standardize. Unfortunately, the actual names of order items is sometimes not intuitive to physicians.

Solution: This is an important problem receiving priority attention. Multiple remediations are underway:
  • Consistency: Diagnostic imaging orders were identified as a particular problem. These used intervention abbreviations in some cases (e.g., "US") and full names in others (e.g., "Ultrasound"). This problem has been (mostly) rectified. The orders group will continue to review lists to find and fix inconsistent names.
  • Forgiving Search: Epic has a "fuzzy logic" search enhancement that detects and corrects for misspellings and other user-term problems that may degrade search performance. This has been activated for Connect Care.
  • Synonyms: Common names given to many orderables may not match standard terminology used by those who make lists. We have assembled a history of synonyms that have proved most useful in other Alberta health information system implementations. These are being added to the Connect Care order catalogue. A synonym will allow different search terms to get to the same order (e.g. searching for "normal saline" will find both the iv saline order and the iv fluids order panel).
  • Experience: We are most grateful to all prescribers who take time to report an unrewarding order search. This will allow the orders team to focus on the most important categories of orders for synonym work, which otherwise is very time consuming.